Inaugurating the New Johnson County Transit Service
Posted by Transit Action Network on July 9, 2010
Hear! Hear! There is good news for regional transit… as of July 6, 2010 the range of transit possibilities to and from Johnson County and Kansas City, MO just got a whole lot bigger!
The JO’s Route M, the midday route that makes a single round trip from Olathe to Downtown and back, plus NEW Routes 856 and 875 opened up opportunities for KC residents to get to Oak Park Mall and Metcalf South Shopping Center, Johnson County Community College (including the Carlsen Center for the Performing Arts and the Nerman Museum) and KU Edwards Campus throughout the day. And for Johnson County residents, the new routes improve access to the Plaza, the Nelson-Atkins and Kemper Museums of Art, UMKC, Union Station and Crown Center, and Downtown Kansas City via MAX from Waldo or from the Plaza.
On July 6, Margie and Ron celebrated the launch of this new transit service in Johnson County by being among its first riders. We selected a relatively short loop trip beginning and ending at 10th and Main Transit Center in Downtown Kansas City. Margie arrived there via ATA Route 129 from Boardwalk Square in Platte County, and Ron arrived via ATA’s MAX route from Midtown.
We used our Metro transfers to board The JO’s Route M at 1:00, and got off at the Transfer Center at 6000 Lamar in Mission. Here we had easy walking access to the Johnson County Administrative Center, Powell Community Center, and several restaurants and retail shops. The NEW Route 856 Metcalf Flex bus arrived early and Don, the driver, snapped a photo of us boarding. He, too, was celebrating his new assignment!!
Just imagine – Route 856 riders have access to everything along Metcalf from 63rd to 135th streets!! We got off at 75th Street – the site of Walgreen’s and CVS among the retail options. Did you know that more than 65 buses pass by 75th and Metcalf every weekday?
Soon we boarded the NEW eastbound Route 875 Flex bus with Paul at the wheel. And we were off to Waldo and our next transfer onto the MAX at Wornall and 75th where you’ll find good places to eat – unique roof top dining at The Well, “traditionals” such as Waldo Pizza, and Coffee Girls’ new location is just a block west near 75th Street Brewery. The retail shopping excels, also!
The JO’s Routes 856 and 875 are something new for the Kansas City area: “route deviation” transit. They follow set routes on a fixed schedule, but the driver can go off-route to pick up or drop off riders who have called a day in advance.
Routes 856 and 875 complement Routes 556 and 575 that operate during the morning and evening commute periods. These buses travel the same route but don’t go off-route. Since both connect to MAX, it’s possible for more people to get to and from work and school. Now, they and many more residents of the region have access to health care, shopping, and a variety of restaurants along these routes throughout the day!
Ron sent a few “tweets” along the way. Read them at http://twitter.com/transactionkc.
Margie Richcreek reporting